App marketing player Fiksu said that the number of apps downloaded in the US in March 2012 “plunged by 30 percent” month-on-month, returning to similar levels to those seen before the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S.
According to its App Store Competitive Index, which measures the average daily download volume of the top 200 free US iPhone apps, the total dropped to 4.45 million from 6.35 million in February.
Fiksu said its measure of the cost to acquire users was “the steadiest observed,” dropping by less than 1 percent in March to US$1.31.
Micah Alder, CEO of the company, said: “An unexpected contributing factor could be the decline in the use of robotic install tactics by app marketers responding to Apple's new policy. The decline in competition and steady costs definitely presented app marketers with a ranking opportunity in March, driven largely through the cost-effective conversion of organic users into loyal users."
Fiksu had noted declines in volume for several months up to October 2011, at which point the launch of the iPhone 4S caused a “spike” in the download numbers. In addition to new users, this launch led to a number of existing app users re-downloading titles to new smartphones.
The numbers also saw a boost during the Christmas holiday sales period.